About thirty minutes outside the city is a golden temple atop a mountain. To get there, you’ll wind along an uphill road (you can grab a taxi in Chiang Mai), passing waterfalls and thick green jungle. Once there, the glimmering gold structure will be unlike anything you’ve seen. It is gigantic. It glows in the sun. The majestic peaks look like they’re electrified. Wat Prathat Doi Suthep is one of Thailand’s most sacred temples. It dates back more than six centuries. Thai children from across the country visit the temple with their classmates and teachers, as do countless global tourists. You can walk among the pagodas, shrines, and statues. The grandeur, the size, the history—it all deserves at least a half-day excursion to take it all in. (Wear respectful attire and be sure to cover your shoulders and legs.)

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